The other day, I went to pick up my youngest son at a friend’s house. As the car approached the house, I saw someone on the front porch that I initially thought was my son, but I realized it couldn’t be because this kid had a mohawk. Oh yes, it was my son. It seems he needed to “be the person he wants to be.”
I waited until later that evening to have the talk about cutting his hair. At first, it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. On more than one occasion during the ensuing two-and-a-half hour conversation, I thought that I should just pin him down and start cutting. I resisted and stayed with the conversation. In the process, something happened: Both of us grew up a little bit in our relationship. We ended up working together to salvage his head from a complete shave. We didn’t save much!
I now have a deeper respect and appreciation of my often troubled teenager. We made a connection that couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been willing to hear him out, and insist that he hear me too. I have a renewed sense of hope for him, and for us. Sometimes, I just have to fight my gut instinct and let time do its thing instead.